Most games come out with a fairly standard formula – kill them, take that, go here. But a few have stepped outside the norm and given our gaming personas imaginary companions to help, or sometimes hinder our path along the way. We look at some of our favorite friends who aren’t really there.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
The Heart – Dishonored
Dishonored seems to exist on a balance of steampunk technology and magical fantasy. The Heart serves as a connection between the two ideas. Literally a beating heart covered in gizmos, the mysterious Outsider gives you this weird object in your first visit to The Void.
Using it here and there allows you to find secret items in Dunwall. And while not strictly an imaginary companion, overusing The Heart results in it whispering information about this bleak world into your head. Creepy.
Zach – Deadly Premonition
Deadly Premonition is all about trying to find a killer in a rainy town. During your journey through the game, your best friend will give you some help. That is, he helps you help yourself. Literally. Because your imaginary friend in Deadly Premonition is *SPOILER ALERT* – yourself!
Deadly Premonition is either one of the best or worst games ever made. With a cop who tells fortunes in coffee, alternate universes, unconventional gameplay, and bizarre voice-acting, this is either a yes or no game for most people.
Leo – Manhunt 2
Falling back on the amnesia cliché, Daniel Lamb has no idea why he is in Dixmor Asylum for the Criminally Insane. All he knows is that the power is out, doors are open, and his fellow inmate, Leo, wants to help him escape. One problem: Leo isn’t really there.
Daniel was a scientist seeing if brainwashing could implant an assassin’s mind into another without anyone realising. Leo was one of the assassins involved in the program and was implanted inside Daniel. The other consciousness killed police, other scientists, and even Daniel’s wife without him knowing. That said, he did try and help Daniel escape, so maybe he’s not all bad.
Viktor Reznov – Call of Duty: Black Ops
Viktor Reznov was involved in the mind control experiments that Alex Mason underwent in Black Ops. Somehow, his consciousness was implanted into Mason’s mind without Mason realising. This doesn’t stop Reznov from spotting patrols beyond your field of view. He also once pulled you up from the brink of a cliff using only the powers of your mind. Jedi powers, away!
John Konrad – Spec Ops: The Line
Your mission: pursue and capture Commander John Konrad and take him to trial. The road ahead is fraught with peril, and many civilians will die by your hand. Once you eventually make your way to the destination, you find out the horrifying truth: Konrad is already dead.
During your play through Spec Ops: The Line, Konrad is constantly taunting you to draw you on. It eventually turns out that it was all a hallucination brought on by the traumas of war. Maybe not the nicest idea but scarily realistic.